Letter From The Elephant


I am the elephant in the room. You know that phrase, of course. It means an obvious truth that is ignored or not acknowledged.

I am used to being ignored. Lots of very smart people use very smart arguments to avoid having to deal with me. I find it very funny. Why are they so shy of me?

But let me explain what I am doing here. This guy, Suman, has written this book that you are about to read. He claims that his task is to spot the elephants in the room and help others spot them too. So basically he is turning the spotlight on me.

Suman is trying to say that marketers have these pet theories and they cling on to them even though they are wrong. He has identified 10 of these theories-10 elephants in the room, he calls them-which he tries to debunk.

Well, I don’t like this spotlight on me. Here I am sitting comfortably in the room, not being disturbed by anyone, watching with amusement as the marketers try to step gingerly around me. And now, Suman is trying to get me out of here.

So I have a plan. I am going to make fun of Suman. I am going to argue that he is wrong and there is nothing wrong with the elephants in the room. It will be fun to see who wins.

Enjoy the book. Suman has written all the boring, serious stuff with case studies and things. I have written all the fun , cartoony stuff. We are on opposite sides of each issue. It is up to you to decide who is right.

Spot & Share Your Own Elephant



About Suman

Suman Srivastava


Suman Srivastava is the Founder and Innovation Artist at Marketing Unplugged. He is also the author of Marketing Unplugged: Spotting the elephants in the room.

Suman Srivastava enjoys doing new things. A graduate of Delhi University, IIM Ahmedabad and IMD Lausanne, he is an advertising man, strategist, author, marathon runner, teacher, social worker, sports fan, creative bartender and an entrepreneur.

Suman has been the CEO of Euro RSCG India for 5 years and also Chief Strategy Officer for Euro RSCG Asia Pacific. He was the Chairman of Euro RSCG's emerging markets planning council and a member of the global management committee. Lastly, he was Vice Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer of FCB Ulka Group in India.

In 2011, he started an innovation firm called Marketing Unplugged. The focus of the company is to help Indian companies create marketing innovations and thus achieve extraordinary growth. In this capacity, he has been associated with brands such as Raymond (suitings), CaratLane (online jewellery), Network18 (media), Sweekar (cooking oil), Spuul (entertainment app), Johnson & Johnson (OTC), Navneet (stationery) and FCB Ulka to name a few.

Suman loves startups. He was part of the team that started SSC&B Lintas and later part of the team that started Euro RSCG India. He has a track record of changing jobs only in the years when India has hosted the cricket world cup. He got his first job in 1987, his second in 1996 and his third (Marketing Unplugged) in 2011.

Suman believes that he was put on earth to be a teacher. He loves teaching and has taught at IIMs in Ahmedabad & Bangalore, ISB Hyderabad, IITs at Bombay & Kharagpur, MICA and several other management institutes across the country. He has also run workshops for clients like Microsoft, Intel, Reckitt Benckiser, Max New York Life, Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Petroleum.

Brand building is a passion for Suman. He has been closely associated with brands from India’s leading companies including Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HDFC Bank, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Philips.

He is active in the voluntary sector where he works on causes that range from schooling for slum children to child sexual abuse to rural tourism to getting India to Give more. He is a trustee of two NGOs, an adviser to a third and a volunteer with several others.

Suman has run the half marathon three times and loves to make creative cocktails.

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BBC - History of Indian Mathematics Part-1 of 2

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Part-2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeJbR_...Marcus du Sautoy looks at the contribution of Ancient Indians like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara, Madhava, etc in the field of Mathematics.Programme: BBC - The Story of MathsPresenter: Marcus du Sautoy

Identify Blue Oceans by Mapping Your Product Portfolio

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This past quarter Apple once again crushed its earnings report. This despite Wall Street’s uncertainty since the death of the company’s founder and visionary, Steve Jobs. How has Apple managed to maintain its stock price and convince investors of its growth potential?

A Country Is Not a Company

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College students who plan to go into business often major in economics, but few believe that they will end up using what they hear in the lecture hall. Those students understand a fundamental truth: What they learn in economics courses won’t help them run a business.

How to run Windows 10 on your Mac for free

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One of the selling points of a Mac these days is the ability to run Windows software on it, via virtualization or Apple’s own Boot Camp. Running Windows lets you play PC games that haven’t been ported to the Mac, or stay completely compatible with your documents from a PC-centric workplace.

Xiaomi, Not Apple, Is Changing the Smartphone Industry

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Determining which customer to target first is one of the most critical decisions in the entrepreneurial process. Customers that are relatively less risky and more predictable can make it easier for new to firms gain a market foothold.

No unity in diversity

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THE cliché of the “Asian century” is usually presented as an economic argument: that the startling growth of a number of Asian countries is shifting the centre of gravity of the global economy to the continent where the bulk of its people live.

What's Your Cultural Profile?

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Make Your Presentations Pop with These Free Tools

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These days audiences expect more from presentations. We want to interact, and we expect access to the presentation again afterwards. We also expect audio and video, not just stills.  Slides seem  to have become synonymous with bad presentations, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Four Days in Provence

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Most people journey to Provence for at least 7-14 days to sample fresh produce, admire the beautiful scenery, enjoy the long and hot summer days, and generally adapt to the Provencal way of life.

The Lewis Model Explains Every Culture In The World

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Many people think he nailed it, as his book " When Cultures Collide ," now in its third edition, has sold more than one million copies since it was first published in 1996 and was called "an authoritative roadmap to navigating the world's economy," by the Wall Street Journal.

Where is the CMO in digital transformation?

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Digital is changing the world and chief marketing officers (CMOs) know it. They are embracing digital channels with fervor, but it’s time to do more, believes Accenture.

Cannes 2014: Coca Cola's Wendy Clark brings alive spirit of the ‘World’s Cup’, in real time

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Speaking to delegates at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2014 were two Coca Cola Company executives from the brand’s ‘war room’ in Rio, via Skype.

Strategy Is No Longer a Game of Chess

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Legendary strategists have long been compared to master chess players, who know the positions and capabilities of each piece on the board and are capable of thinking several moves ahead. It’s time to retire this metaphor.

How To Manage The Explosive Marketing Technology Landscape

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The line between marketing and IT is becoming blurred in many organizations.

State of Payments: Reinventing Money

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This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers analyze the state and future of their industry. Read all the posts here. If I had just two words to sum up everything that’s going in the payments industry right now, I’d pick “disruption” and “transformation.

Books that inspire Us

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness

User Ratings :5
Origin Story: A Big History of Everything by David Christian

Origin Story: A Big History of Everything

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Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

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Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World by Snigdha Poonam

Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World

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The Broken Ladder: The Paradox and the Potential of India's One Billion by Anirudh Krishna

The Broken Ladder: The Paradox and the Potential of India's One Billion

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Being Indian: Inside the real India by Pavan K. Varma

Being Indian: Inside the real India

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From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives by Jeffrey E. Garten

From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives

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Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam M. Grant

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success

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Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

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Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives

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When Crime Pays: Money And Muscle In Indian Politics by Milan Vaishnav

When Crime Pays: Money And Muscle In Indian Politics

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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael   Lewis

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

User Ratings :4

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